Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Farewell Friends!

Our Aussie friends left us a few days ago to return home to WA.

(Thanks for all your hard work, team!)

They did an amazing job turning a carport at the pastor's house into a living space for an older man in our church! This is Len Vandyk and Andrew working on the outside walls.

Korinda and Andrea made a bed, a little table and foot stool for brother Rumanasen too!

We didn't make them work every minute they are enjoying Lae Yacht Club. We really appreciated the work they did and also how they supported us and kept us laughing despite some stressful times we're having in our ministry work (details to follow about that in another update).

We couldn't bear to be totally alone after the team left, so Wayne and Cheronne sent Cheronne's parents to console us for the weekend!! They are Hans and Margaret Vermeulen and we really appreciated their company too. They've since gone back to Moresby to spend some more time with Wayne and Cheronne and kids.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Aussie Visitors

Last week Monday, five visitors from WA, Australia joined us here in Lae. Their main purpose in coming was to help with a couple work projects, namely a concrete floor in the church and finishing off a room in the pastor’s house. But I think it’s become much more than that. Yes, the work’s getting done but the team is gaining so much more. They’ve become acquainted with the people, culture, climate, and road conditions of PNG! Their patience has been tested as they waited an hour to buy a roll of plastic at a hardware store and then 3 hours for the cement truck to come. They’ve gotten used to breathing the thick, humid air. They’ve taken in God’s beautiful creation in lush vegetation, mountains and waterfalls. They’ve endured the bumpy roads with ease. And last but not least, their hearts have been touched by the people they’ve met. They have tasted PNG!

And it’s been good for us to have their company too. Here are the kids with "Uncle" Len Vandyk.

We worshipped at the church with the new floor today and wow, does it make a difference. The church building looks nicely finished off now, there’s lots of space for people to sit down, better acoustics for singing, and our kids didn’t come home covered in dirt!!

The team was deeply thanked for the work they did as the people have wanted to finish the flooring for a long time. As a gift of appreciation, they were each given a traditional PNG bag, called a “bilum”. It was said, these bilums symbolize us giving our hearts to you in thanks for what you’ve done.

This is Andrea Strating and her husband Henry in the background.

And of course, there was food to enjoy too! Here's Korinda Bruning and Andrea savouring the PNG kaikai!

The team will be with us until Friday and will work at completing the room at the pastor’s house and spending time with the people, and with us too! They will then fly to Port Moresby for the weekend before heading back home to WA.

They will be remembered here by the people for years to come!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Home again

It’s amazing that no matter how much you enjoy a holiday, it is always good to come home. We’re glad to be back in Lae after our travels to Port Moresby and beyond, which for us was Cairns, Australia. (FYI Canadians, you pronounce it “Cans”. Although we’re not sure why… because Australians usually add “r’s” onto words, not take them away!).

Port Moresby was busy, but a great time. It was a blessing to take part in what’s happening at the Reformed Churches Bible College. I was thinking back to a presentation that Rev. Stephen ‘t Hart made while they were on furlough in Canada 3 years ago where he shared the vision and need for leadership training in the churches in PNG. And now here we are today—with that vision already realized; the prayers answered. The RCBC has a beautiful, functional property, which houses two missionary families, and everything for the school—classrooms, a resource room and student houses! It’s incredible how the Lord made it all come together in a short period of time. And of course there are already men and women who are being trained there to serve in different capacities in the churches! And as Ian sat in on some of the classes, he quickly realized that the students are privileged to study under both Rev Stephen 't Hart and Wayne vanderHeide. We’re excited at how the Lord will use the Bible College to help build up and strengthen the Reformed Churches in PNG for many years to come.

Here are our kids with the VanderHeides--Sjaan, Bryce, and Cameron…ready to be home-schooled! (taught by Cheronne, also a very good teacher!)

Cairns is just a 1.5 hour flight away from Port Moresby. It’s a beautiful spot for a tropical holiday, and at this time of year neither too hot nor too humid! Almost paradise…(as far as weather goes). We hardly sweated at all for a change! Anyone who wants to meet us for a holiday there some year, let us know! (And then of course you’ll have to take a little detour with us to PNG before heading home again….:) This is Jonathan, at Muddy's Playground, the best place for kids!

Karlyn and me at Lake Placid…how can you not relax with a name like that??

Australia has the most incredible beaches! Here's Ian and Jonathan about to ride the waves at Trinity Beach.

Ian also went to see a naturopath while we were there. So now he is wheat-free, gluten-free and coffee-free. It's a good thing there's no Timmy's in Lae! He is also on some herbal concoction to help him fight the virus, whatever it is. We do thank God that he's slowly on the mend.